Video: Diving star Tom Daley encourages Newham to Get Active
- Credit: Archant
Olympic diving star Tom Daley is encouraging Newham residents to get active, ahead of next month’s competitive return to the London Aquatics Centre.
The 21-year-old trains, coaches and even runs a diving academy in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and will entertain crowds in the British leg of the FINA NVC Diving World Series over the weekend of May 1.
Now living in the area, Tom was disappointed to learn that Newham is the country’s least active borough and encouraged residents to take up some form of weekly exercise, echoing the Recorder’s very own ‘Get Active’ campaign.
“We’ve got the best facilities here on our doorstep to come and swim,” he said.
“Even over at the Copper Box they’ve got so many different group classes. The gym here is pretty good and we’ve got the Olympic and training pools.
“The Tom Daley Diving Academy is up and running and 35 per cent of those people are actually adults, it’s not just for kids – we’ve even got OAPs. Everyone wants to come and give diving a go.
“There are so many different things to get involved with here, even if it’s just walking around the Olympic Park to see how it’s transformed, because it is pretty cool.”
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Although the vast majority of those taking part in some form of exercise class will never become a professional sportsperson, Tom admits the important thing is to enjoy whatever you choose to do.
“You don’t really see very many fat old people and that’s what I’ve always thought, you have to try and be active and stay in shape,” he added. “Look after yourself and eat well.
“You don’t have to be serious about sport, train six hours every day and become an Olympian, you just have to have fun.
“Even if it’s a social thing like going walking or swimming with your friends, little things like that can make a massive difference.”
Although not returning for another season of ITV show Splash, Tom is keen to fill his time outside of the pool with non-sporting activities, having enrolled in Spanish classes and discovered a new love of cooking.
On the platform though, he is currently pioneering a brand new ‘firework’ dive and insists competitions are becoming harder and harder.
“The standards are going through the roof,” he said. “Back in Beijing to win gold required 538, that won’t even win you a medal now.
“In London I scored something like 558. If I had scored that in Beijing I would have won the gold medal by about 30 points.
“Diving is evolving so quickly. I’m not quite sure it’s going to continue going up and up, but divers are learning new and harder dives and finishing them easier more and more consistently.
“It would be amazing to nail the new dive here in front of a London audience.”
Tickets for the Diving World Series start from £10 for adults and £7 for under-16s.
For more information visit ticketmaster.co.uk/promo/27ievb.